My friend Darrell at Stuff Fundies Like found this gem of a letter from 1982, explaining the qualifications for a pastor at Phillips Drive Baptist Church:
Don’t you ever get tired of mocking people? Jesus must be so proud of you.
Elijah mocked people. What do you have to say about that?
Besides, how can you mock people by just REPEATING WHAT THEY SAID VERBATIM?
Tony is not Elijah and neither are you. If this was just a one off post it would different but a good percentage of posts here just mock others. So sad and a terrible representation of Christ.
But self-righteous wagging-of-fingers is so Christlike, I suppose.
How is the sentence “Jesus must be so proud of you” not a statement of mockery? The commenters here are hilarious!
Not mocking, nor funny, simply sad.
#2 is certainly bad but may be well intentioned. Undermining leadership can be problematic.
#4 is weird.
Beyond that, I think most churches probably have similar expectations, even if worded a little less rigidly.
Talk about mistaking the middle class social respectability of a particular sub- culture/ea for “the main thing”
I am more disturbed about the ban on “mixed swimming”.
Have you ever tried doing a breast stroke and a doggy paddle at the same time? That hurts!
Does anyone know the Bible passage that says boys and girls can’t be in the same pool? I know of maybe two people who have had this rule for their kids, but neither could tell me.
I’m pretty sure this comes out of Matthew 5:28, the “looketh on a woman to lust after her” part.
Saturday – I’m doing final reflecting for tomorrow’s sermon (Reformation Day texts), making phone calls, sending emails ect. I’m thankful I took a moment to scan fb and read your ‘gem.’ Perfect example (names will be excluded) for trying to live under the law. The cultural mores as illustrated above aren’t, IMHO Jesus’ teachings – nothing about loving, serving, forgiving. Who can stand under the law anyway? Even by our positive efforts…that is why I am so thankful for God’s gift of grace through faith of (in) Jesus.
Pastor Smith, my soul is not something for you to win.
So the consistently ridiculous and embarrassing can’t be named? We all just have to “be understanding” when a significant portion of Christians mistake moralistic nitpicking as the ground of Christian identity? That high handed sanctimony doesn’t hurt the witness of the church?
But a genuine and honest convo about the difficulties that are found at the intersection of Christian claims and people’s lived experience is an ongoing travesty of leading people astray…
I get it now. A real convo about real issues by Tony is a horrible, liberal attack on truth, but the “on the ground stupidity” of people obscuring the message of Christ is just an opportunity to suffer in solidarity with those of the “true faith”.
It seems, Frank, you aren’t Elijah either. So why do you persist here if not for some self involved notion of “prophetic witness”?
There is nothing obscuring the Gospel in those requirements. Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial. The Gospel witness is hurt when you say everything is permissible and everything is beneficial.
The lack of wisdom regarding the indulgences of wordly pleasure and the need for healthy boundaries is the real tragedy. You try and make something respectful becomes something to mock or to laugh at. This was the requirements of one particular church at a particular time. Any church that values biblical accountability has similar requirements and they should. Does this one go overboard? For me yes, but not for them. Who are we to say that this was not the right choice for them?
And BTW there is nothing about the blog title or the first sentence that encourages a “convo.” If someone were serious about a real “convo” they would have simply posted the letter and asked “What do you think? Does this go overboard? What would be the pastoral requirements if you had a church?”
That’s right Frank, “Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial.” So why is it that you think women should be consigned to dissipating men’s sexual aggression and being their punching bags rather than two men working out their sexuality on each other. I think it would be more beneficial and enlightening if men could come to the realization of what they are actually doing when they are trying to dominate another human being and the only way to compassion in this regard is through experience. If only a man could be dominated by a man and also be objectified by another man, then maybe men would get a clue about how obnoxious male sexuality actually is. I think that would be beneficial to a society in which men and women are persuaded to be equals but have to put up with the overflow of sexualization into their interactions in their place of employment.
Actually, being nitpicking scions of sanctimony does obscure the gospel. Now you’re a cultural relativist when it suits you?
As far as convo goes, it’s just interesting that Tonys opinions and reflections are something you believe need some kind of refuting counterweight, but credibility destroying cultural myopia and arrogance is something that “works for them”, its just not your style. How postmodern…
Actually, my exalted position when I signed this was 1st & 2nd grade boys Sunday School teacher. All church workers had to sign.
I am really glad I escaped and didn’t rear my kids in this atmosphere. Grace over “holy standards” is amazing.
In modifying “visitation,” I believe “soul winning” would need a hyphen.
I didn’t grow up Baptist, but many of the rules listed in this letter are familiar to me. It is true that this is a form of legalism, and it’s also true that those who enforce these rules use them as a hammer to get what they want. Personally, I think there is some wisdom, though, in Christians be purposeful about denying themselves of some things. I didn’t see a movie in a theater until I was 18, and I didn’t have my first drink until I was 32. I’m not saying that as a matter of pride or anything, but rather, I’m just saying that I don’t look back at either of those things with any real regret. Actually, with the drinking thing, I’m pretty thankful.
Miroslav Volf tweeted something a few weeks ago that struck me as very wise. He said, “Compared to the damage we do to ourselves today with food, old style asceticism seems positively life affirming.” That’s the thing about freedom. We can use it to our detriment or to our benefit.
Exactly! The problem with mocking is that you miss out on wisdom in the process.
There is nothing wise about banning women from wearing pants.
After reading that its a miracle that Christians even had sex…
Thanks for the link love, Tony.
What a wonderful ministry you have! :rolleyes
Love your site, Darrell. I’ll be passing it along to my staff and congregation. They’ll love it.
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